The line between "insistent" and "annoying" rarely feels quite this thin. "Spicy" has been engineered to hit many sweet spots at once, starting with its headlong dive into '90s nostalgia: The track, assembled by U.K. DJ Herve Pagez and U.S. mega-producer Diplo, enlists Charli XCX to pay lovingly extravagant tribute to The Spice Girls' eternal "Wannabe." A truly ridiculous trifle, this one's sold most effectively in its doofy video, in which its headliners ride, jam with, dance alongside and eat at a cafe with an array of brightly colored... dolphins.
Tove Lo, 'Glad He's Gone'
It's too early to tell which of these songs is likeliest to pop, but here's an unmistakable highlight of this week's lot. In "Glad He's Gone," Swedish pop star Tove Lo comforts a dear friend with sexually frank affirmations in the aftermath of a painful breakup. Dispensing kind advice—mostly of the pick-yourself-up, you're-too-good-for-him variety—Lo drives her point home in the hypnotically infectious, haunting hook: "You're better off / I'm glad that he's gone."
Cardi B, 'Press'
Cardi B has been a vibrant, wildly charismatic addition to the pop landscape in recent years, but "Press" is a one-off swat at a gossip mill that's obsessed over her personal life with relentless invasiveness. Though a bit too specific in its messaging to connect on a grand scale—although who among us hasn't had to grapple with the prying eyes of the paparazzi?—"Press" does pack a tremendous amount of quotable aggression into less than two-and-a-half minutes.
Mark Ronson & Camila Cabello, 'Find U Again'
Pinning down Mark Ronson's aesthetic isn't easy: If you had to summarize him with a single genre signifier, it'd be... maybe "hits"? It's hard to find too many other throughlines connecting "Find U Again," his new collaboration with Camila Cabello, to, say, "Uptown Funk." But what "Find U Again" lacks in a distinct artistic identity, it makes up for in the sheer power of sounding like every other aggressively Auto-Tuned song on the radio. So who knows?
King Princess, 'Cheap Queen'
The clearest path to Song of the Summer status is to reach for something universal—something in the language of heartache, desire, loneliness or defiance. But another way is to serve up a mission statement to a smaller-but-mighty subset of the pop audience. For King Princess, a 20-year-old who's currently blooming into a queer icon, "Cheap Queen" has it all, from a coolly woozy sound to a statement of purpose sure to resonate: "I can be bad sometimes / I'm a real queen / I can make grown men cry."
Gucci Mane & Justin Bieber, 'Love Thru The Computer'
Maybe it's the tinny, computerized beats; maybe it's the lighthearted narrative about, well, finding "Love Thru the Computer." But Gucci Mane's new single feels playfully old-school, even evoking the story-song rambles of Biz Markie or Young MC, albeit with far saltier language. Bieber's presence on the hook makes "Love Thru the Computer" a pop contender from the jump, though his own personality is muted next to Gucci's.
Bad Bunny, 'Callaíta'
Puerto Rican superstar Bad Bunny just got around to releasing his first full-length album back in December, and he's already got a follow-up single in the smoothly ingratiating "Callaíta." Recorded as a one-off with reggaeton producer Tainy, the track touches on the greatest hits of summer-song celebration: the beach, booze, sex and that certain someone with whom all three can be shared.
The Chainsmokers, 'Call You Mine (feat. Bebe Rexha)'